China to trial offshore fish-wind farms integrated with aquaculture
One of China’s leading seafood production regions is embarking on an ambitious project to test-run offshore aquaculture integrated with wind farms.
At a government press conference to launch the “Shandong Province Modern Ocean Farming Comprehensive Pilot Scheme Construction Project,” several officials from the Agriculture Department and provincial Ocean Affairs Bureau announced they will build 83 ocean pastures over 60,000 hectares – 32 of which will be “national-level” and make Shandong the national leader in such facilities.
Several of the facilities will feature offshore wind turbines, according to the officials.
“We will be assessing the impact of the turbines on the fish farms and also on biodiversity in the sea…We want to see if offshore fisheries and wind farms can co-exist,” explained Fu Ri Xian, deputy chief of the Ocean Bureau.
Construction on the wind-fish farm will commence in the first half of 2019 and will be complete by 2021, according to Fu.
The Shandong sites will serve as models for future similar developments along China’s coast, Wang Deng Qi, deputy head of the provincial Agricultural Ministry, said. The 83 ocean sites being installed will use technology such as big data and remote sensors, according to.
“In this way we can improve management and efficiency,” Wang said.
Wang also pointed to challenges facing the offshore aquaculture sector including “non-standard technology” and “low skills.”
Shandong Province is a major location for aquaculture, and one of its largest cities, Qingdao, is home to a large seafood processing industry.